As I am working on WebKit rich text editing these days, there are 2 issues that I would like to address. From a brief internal discussion both seem feasible and worthwhile, but since they involve changes to current code and behavior I wanted to ask the WebKit community in general, and the original authors of WebKit editing in particular, about your opinion:
.) When a selection that starts in a table and ends outside it is deleted, the current code drags the adjacent outside content into the table. To me this is counter-intuitive (text can be "dragged" in, but not between cells, and not back outside), and it's also contrary to the behavior of other editors (FireFox, TextEdit, Word, etc.). The behavior is, however, enshrined in various layout tests, so I wonder if there was/is a reason to implement it this way. As this behavior also complicates fixing other bugs I wanted to see whether there would be much opposition to changing it (i.e., to content outside of a table staying outside on a delete operation).
.) The current Position classes are IMHO rather unfocused in their implementation, with lots of special cases and "magical" behavior, that still is often incorrect (e.g., with text that has padding, margins, or :before/:after content). For ease of further development they would therefore benefit from refactoring. The idea would be to change the classes into something along the lines of:
EditingPosition (or TypeablePosition): based on the current PositionIterator for fast iteration, with most of the code of Position except for code that queries renderers
VisiblePosition: change to work on renderers rather than nodes (moving such code from the current Position into this class).
with explicit, but not implicit, conversion between them. Similarly for Ranges.
In addition, a refactoring could add (or at least allow for) non-contiguous ranges and allow editing operations to work on arbitrary ranges/positions rather than just the (single) selection, which again currently is a pain point. In the long run I would envision to extend the code to allow multiple selections (such as for concurrent editing, or highlighting of find results, etc.), but that probably needs to be discussed separately.
It would be great if you could share your thoughts,